Max Steigauf / Sports Director / @MSteigauf
The #10 ranked Huskies women’s hockey team was swept by the #2 Badgers, but had multiple players have standout performances, including goalie Jojo Chobak who was named the WCHA goalie of the week. Chobak made 45 stops in nearly 63 minutes of play.
St. Cloud entered Saturday’s game looking to break up a three-game losing streak. In net for SCSU was Jojo Chobak who was making her first start in Madison since her shutout victory over the Badgers in last year’s “Fill the Bowl Game”.
The Huskies started fast with Laura Zimmerman scoring first just over two minutes into the opening period. Zimmerman picked up the puck behind the net and wrapped around it to give the huskies a 1-0 lead.
From there the Huskies and badgers played a fast back and forth game but SCSU looked to be getting the better of the Badgers not only on the scoreboard but also the faceoff dot. For a majority of the first two periods the Huskies didn’t just win but dominated the Badgers on the faceoffs.
The Badgers came out in the second period on fire pinning the Huskies in their own D-zone. St. Cloud eventually would use their timeout to slow things down and get a tired unit off the ice. It also gave SCSU’s goalie Jojo Chobak a break who had already made a handful of huge saves.
Shortly after the timeout the Badgers found the equalizer when Maddi Wheeler picked up one of the very few rebounds Chobak allowed and shot the puck into the net.
After that goal the Badgers had a lot of momentum, and it didn’t help St. Cloud when Dayle Ross was called for a two-minute body checking minor. The Huskies stood tall thanks to Chobak making more key stops keeping the game tied heading into the third period.
In the third both teams were back to trading shots and moving up and down the ice. Near the midway point of the period though Dayle Ross got the gate for the second time in the game. Once again though, the Huskies Defense and Chobak would stand tall, blocking a ton of Wisconsin’s shots. By the end of the game SCSU blocked 16 of Wisconsin’s shots.
Both goalies would make remarkable saves to keep the game tied at 1-1. It felt like a game destined for overtime, but St. Cloud State would mount one last push to try and win in regulation. Thats when senior forward Emma Gentry lost her skate and fell awkwardly into the boards in the final seconds of regulation. Gentry would be helped up, but was not likely to play in the OT.
The Badgers controlled the puck for most of the extra frame. Luckily for St. Cloud Chobak was able to make more remarkable saves to keep the game tied. Eventually the Badgers Caroline Harvey would be able to sneak a puck over the shoulder of Chobak to give the Badgers the game one win.
The second game started very similar to the first one with the Huskies notching the first goal. This time it was Alice Sauriol potting the first goal for the Huskies. St. Cloud’s lead wouldn’t last long, because less than three minutes later Kelly Gorbatenko would tie the game at the 10:25 mark.
The Huskies opened the second period on the back foot with Wisconsin controlling the puck. The early pressure got to St. Cloud and captain Taylor Lind got called for hooking about seven minutes into the period. Once again Caroline Harvey would score this time to give the Badgers a 2-1 lead.
St. Cloud would start to even the momentum when they got their own powerplay late in the period. The powerplay looked good in the first minute but then dwindled away in the second minute leaving the game 2-1 heading into the third period.
Both teams started the third by blocking each other’s shots. Ella Annick had two blocked shots in a one-minute span. Wisconsin though would score two goals to extend their lead to 4-1. St. Cloud got a chance to respond thanks to an undisciplined crosscheck by Ava Murphey. The Huskies tried to make the most of the opportunity by pulling Ahola to give themselves a two-skater advantage. Taylor Lind would pick up a rebound off the pads of McNaughton and gave the Huskies their second goal making it 4-2.
The Badgers would end up getting an empty netter though to regain the three-goal lead later in the period. That would also cement the final score as 5-2 with the Badgers sweeping the Huskies this season.
St. Cloud’s Jojo Chobak was awarded the WCHA goalie of the week for her masterful performance in game one and Sanni Ahola was also just named to be the HCA Goalie of the year semifinalist further solidifying the dynamic duo as the best goalie tandem in the country.
St. Cloud will play the Gophers this weekend in a home and home series. Game one is at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center with puck drop set for 6 p.m. Saturday’s game will be in Ridder arena at 2 p.m. both games can be listened to live at 97.5 RadioX.